Having lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for over 13 years (Biloxi, MS) I became intimately acquainted with this ant. My oldest daughter, at the time just 2 years old wandered into a fire ant nest. She was dressed only in a diaper and when the ants began to sting she just froze and started to scream. When we arrived, just about 60 seconds later, she was covered with ants. She was stung on over 60% of her body and ran a fever of over 103 degrees for over a week. It was touch and go while the venom worked its way out of her system. My second experience with this ant came when a friend of mine, who was a farmer and raised pigs, called me to come to his farm to view, what we both agreed, was the most amazing site we had ever seen. When I arrived I observed that one of his full grown pigs, a bore weighing some 200 lbs, had been rooting around a heavy feeding trough which tipped over on his neck pinning him down. The next morning when it was feeding time my friend found the pig, long since dead, covered with a mass of these ants. The ants had attacked and killed him and during the night had consumed a very large portion of him carrying the bits off to their nest. I learned a deep respect for this creature and its ability to organize and accomplish a large task for the greater good of the colony. Larry N. Nelson
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